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SinS Wolf Hoodie by Chateau Roux [Review]

by Andy on February 18, 2010

chateau roux hoodie

The Chateau Roux team were kind enough to send over one of their fine hoodies to keep me warm during winter, and whilst it is a warm hoodie, I was still pretty chilly when I dashed outside into the -9C air to take these photos, but then again, I think it would be pretty chilly whatever I was wearing when it’s that cold.

The hoodie is a size XL; when I’m wearing an American Apparel XL hoodie it’s pretty baggy, but as you can probably tell from the photos, this hoodie is a bit of a slim fit on me. It’s pretty thick and I don’t think that it’s too tight (I actually think it’s quite slimming), but it’s definitely a fashion fit and should be purchased as such, so if you want to wear something that’s a little roomy then order a size up.

Every aspect of this hoodie screams quality, I’m very, very impressed with it. Chateau Roux aren’t a bargain-basement kind of a brand, yes, it is possible to get a cheaper hoodie elsewhere, but I doubt that you’ll be able to get a hoodie of similar quality without paying quite a lot more, and with this design being on sale at the moment it really is excellent value.

Costiness=£42 Buy it at Chateau Roux

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andy wearing a hat from bmc handmade

It’s not often that you’ll see the word ‘cool’ and ‘crochet’ within a few miles of each other, but this is definitely one of those times. I can’t lie, I was pretty skeptical that I would like these hats when BMC Handmade offered to send a few hats to my way, and my policy is that I never accept a sample if I don’t think I’ll like it, but I took them up on their offer because I was curious, and because I like hats. Beanies from BMC range from $18.50 for the snug fit to $20.50 for the large slouch, which seems extremely reasonable for a handmade hat…. but it’s actually better than you think; for every hat you purchase, BMC will make another one, and donate it to a child that has suffered from hair loss due to chemotherapy. A very worthy cause I’m sure you’ll agree, making your purchase all that more meaningful, and warming your heart as well as your head.

As you can probably tell from the photo above, I thought I’d do something a little different and do the photoshoot for the hats out in the snow. It was cold, damn cold, to the point where it wasn’t particularly pleasant operating the camera, and yet, neither my head nor my brother’s got chilly during our time out in the cold. I confirmed this later during a walk around a nearby forest, I was out in about -5C-ish temperatures for about 40 minutes and at no point did I get cold, which surprised me since as these hats are crocheted, by their nature there are rather a lot of holes in them. I’d assume that their hole-y look is a positive in summer, ensuring that they won’t get as hot as a traditional beanie, so it’s a win-win as far as I can tell in that regard. The designs (patterns?) that BMC offer range from flat single colours to a few more colourful options for people that want to stand out a bit more. Personally, I’m happier wearing a single colour beanie like the black or blue ones that they sent, so as far as the designs go, it’s entirely subjective, but even the more colourful options aren’t too crazy, so I can’t imagine anyone hating them.

I’ve never owned a ‘slouch’ style beanie before, I do like to wear beanies but I’d never been particularly attracted to them, they seemed like clothing that comes with an attitude attached to it, if you know what I mean, but having spent some time wearing the large slouch style that BMC offers, I now get that it’s just a comfy beanie that doesn’t hug your head quite for tightly, and I’d assume that the ladies (and quite a lot of guys too) would be happy to wear a hat that doesn’t necessarily give you a hefty case of hat hair. Long story short, I’m now a convert to slouch beanies. So again, much like with the designs, it’s entirely up to you, snug fit, medium slouch, large slouch, they’re all high quality beanies, you just have to pick one.

BMC Handmade

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Review: Concrete Jungle by ARKA Clothing

by Andy on January 11, 2010

Arka Clothing are a pretty new company (at least I think they are), but they’re really hustling to get themselves out there. They’ve been mentioned on pretty much every t-shirt blog you can think of (and quite a lot you can’t), appeared at a couple of Thread Shows, as well as Focus and last weekend were hanging out at Agenda, I’m sure I read something on Twitter about a print magazine interview too, they’re everywhere at the moment!

I often question whether there is any value in me discussing whether I like a design or now when doing these hands-on review, because like all the tees I show you, you’re either going to like it or not, what I say isn’t really going to make much of a difference, I’m pretty sure I don’t have that much influence on you guys… yet. For what it’s worth, I like the concept and enjoy the style employed, though I can understand the reaction of my girlfriend and brother, who both said that it looked a bit too much like it was drawn by a kid when they saw it in my office/man cave. It’s certainly wearable though, by which I mean I think it would look good framed by a zip-up hoodie, or one of button-up cardigans that seem to be popular at the moment (a trend that I haven’t quite caught up with yet).

Arka clearly know how to put together a good t-shirt. It feels nice and soft, I’m almost tempted to say that it’s softer than an American Apparel tee (before either have been washed), but it’s so subjective that it’s hard to tell either way, especially with my hands being rather chilly due to the arctic conditions that Britain. The print feels good too, Arka are pretty proud of the use of non-toxic inks in their printing process, here’s a quick quote from their FAQ regarding their printing:

We are one of the only apparel companies in the world that use non-toxic (non-formaldehyde) ink for all of our products. Regular toxic inks are harmful to the environment and cause cancer. It is not a popular choice of printing by other apparel companies due to its high cost.

Here’s the thing, that simply isn’t true, there’s a lot of brands out there that use non-toxic ink, and I’m struggling to turn up good evidence supporting the idea that regular inks cause cancer. I’m not saying they don’t, but surely if the ink used on the majority of t-shirts out there was a significant cancer risk there would be millions of people getting cancer due to wearing t-shirts, and presumably those inks would be banned. That’s probably just me being pedantic, and I don’t expect them to be linking to medical papers about cancer, but it struck me as an odd thing for them to include in their FAQ.

All that aside, the print is nice, you can tell it’s there but it isn’t too heavy, and considering the large size of the print that’s admirable, there’s no way you could complain about it feeling bulletproof.

Costiness=$34.99 Available from Arka Clothing

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Review: Squatch by Badd Habit

by Andy on December 23, 2009

DSCF9284 copy_Medium

I first wrote about this tee a bit over a month ago, so you guys know that I’m already a bit of a fan of the design, and receiving the tee in the mail has not changed my opinion of it one bit. I still think that it looks like some creey dude hanging out in a forest rather than a sasquatch, but as I’ve never seen a sasquatch (and I doubt the Badd Habit team thave either) I don’t really think that I’m in a position to be judging whether an intentionally mysterious silhouette is a mythical beast or not.

When I check out a clothing company and say “hey, that tee is cool” I only really take a superficial look at the site and just focus on the shirts. I’ll always maintain that the clothes are the most important part of any brand, any of the ‘extras’ are just a bonus, and should never be a replacement for good design. However, I do have a soft spot for clothing companies that attempt to give something back beyond just selling tees, and whilst I was checking them out in greater depth for this review I found out something cool, they give the majority of their profits to a charity called the 4806 Foundation that help young people recover from substance abuse and addiction. Beyond that, some of the people that work for Badd Habit are young men from the Gray Wolf Ranch, which is a place dedicated to getting people sober, and working at Badd Habit is part of that recovery process. It’s very admirable, and it makes me like them more as a brand because it truly means that buying a t-shirt can make a real difference.


The design is a real winner for me. The large print really helps to reinforce the appearance of it being more like art on a t-shirt rather than a design that is just placed onto the shirt. The fact that the tee colour itself looks a lot like canvas probably has something to do with me forming that opinion, but even if that was just an unintentional side-effect of the color palette I think that it works really well. Something I like about this design is that taken on their own, most of these elements don’t look like the things they’re meant to look like (come on, does that really look like a tree on the left?), but taken as a whole the scene really comes together, even if it does have that slight ambiguity that I mentioned earlier.


In my first post about the tee I said it was a black and white colour palette, but in reality the shirt is actually creme with a brown print, both colourways would work in my opinion, but creme/brown is good for evoking a vintage photo look. The tee itself is from the American Apparel organic range, so I assume that just about everyone reading this will know that fit, the organic shirts fit the same as the regular Earth-hating ones in my experience. Print quality is top notch too, soft and thin so that even though there’s a lot of print area, it isn’t at all heavy.

Costiness=$24.95 Squatch is available from Badd Habit

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Feel by Blend Apparel [hands-on review]

by Andy on December 12, 2009


As ever, I’m behind on the reviews, but this is a great tee to review, because despite it’s fairly simple appearance, it’s actually really interesting.

You probably recognise the print as being braille, we all recognise those dots, but if you’re anything like me you probably don’t read braille, so you’re just going to have to believe me when I say the text reads “feel” (just as I’m believing Blend Apparel when they tell me that). So that’s a pretty funny visual pun, though the ladies may want to be careful with the perceived invitations it offers, and of course I’d presume that actual blind people would love it.

The print is raised up off the tee too, so it is obviously a pretty thick print so that you can get that effect, but with the dots being not too huge it doesn’t make it feel weird like you’re wearing it, if there was a large black of print this thick it would probably feel like the tee was bullet-proof but you can’t really tell the difference from a regular thin print in this case. I’m just specualting here but is it also possible that a really thick print will stand the test of time better than a thin one, or does it actually make it more likely that you’ll accidentally rip off one of the dots?


The tee is no regular shirt either, as it’s made from bamboo. From what I’ve read bamboo is a much more environmentally friendly way of producing clothing, in fact everything I’ve heard about bamboo makes me wonder why it isn’t used more, anything that can be used as a construction material, food, and clothing, seems crazy to me. So, it’s delicious, but how does it wear? Well, I like it, bamboo t-shirts in general are extremely soft and this version from Blend is no exception. The fit is a little snug, but bamboo tees seem to stretch rather more favourably than a cotton tee, though that may be because bamboo tees usually have less print on them. On that subject, and this is where my lack of technical knowledge comes in, is it harder to print onto a bamboo t-shirt and that’s why bamboo prints tend to be fairly simple?

I’ve always heard that bamboo tees are anti-bacterial, and whilst I can’t think of a way to test that, there’s no reason for me not to believe the claim. I’m not really sure how it would benefit you but I assume it’s no bad thing, perhaps it stops the tee from smelling when you’ve got a bit sweaty, and combined with the comfiness of the tee this could be a great tee for going to the gym in.

Costiness=$24.99 Available from Blend Apparel



It has been a little while since the last review on HYA, and this tee from Rakes & Strays is certainly worthy of bringing back this once-regular feature, especially as I think this might be the first ever tee I’ve received that has been panel printed. If you’re unfamiliar with Rakes & Strays, they’re a new brand from EIO Clothing, so the quality that you expected from EIO, you should expect from Rakes & Strays. You can essentially view them as the same company, they share a website, but I can understand why the two lines have been split as they two collections hold very different styles of tee, even if this particular shirt has the EIO logo on it, and some design elements on it from other EIO tees I’ve been sent in the past. So, in summary, they’re different, but the same, but they’re both good so there’s no point worrying about it.


Usually when people think of tattoo designs they’ll think of Ed Hardy, which isn’t necessarily a good thing (if you want tattoo style, I’d point you in the direction of Sailor Jerry, and not just because they make good rum), but tattoos are a ripe area for creating great t-shirt designs, and whilst I’m no expert on tattoos, I think that this tee works well. As I mentioned earlier this tee has some elements on it from tees I have been sent from EIO Clothing in the past. As a concept I presumed that wouldn’t like it, but I think that it makes a lot of sense for this design because tattoos are meant to be something meaningful, and this tee represents how EIO (and now R&S) are progressing as a company, but they’re still sticking true to the qualities about them that I liked so much in the past. Perhaps I’m over-analysing the design, maybe I should have just said “hey, that look cool, and there’s guns on it” and moved on.


In terms of quality, whether you call it EIO or Rakes & Strays this is a damn good shirt, as the closeups in the gallery will attest. The material is quite thin, but it is very soft. I’m not entirely sure what kind of printing method has been used, but I would be tempted to say that it was discharge because you cannot feel the print at all, which is obviously a good thing. If my previous experience with EIO tees is anything t ogo by, you can expect this tee to wear well, by which I mean it will survive being washed an worn pretty frequently, though I imagine that if it were to fade eventually then that would be less of a big deal than with a normal print because tattoo designs usually gain something with a bit of vintage-style fade on them. The hems of the tee d have what they call a ‘raw edge’ to them, which basically means that they have been cut to split the him and distress it a little bit; I’m not a huge fan of this process because I don’t really see what it adds to the t-shirt as it is a subtle change, but as it is a subtle change it doesn’t detract from what is an excellent t-shirt.

Costiness=£29.95 Available from Rakes & Strays (also in black, and with a fitted cut for the ladies)

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Chain Smoker by Graniph [Review]

by Andy on June 16, 2009


If you can say one thing about Graniph (and I say a lot), it’s that they run through designs pretty darn quickly, so for those of you that flip healthy society the bird by inhaling smoke (think about it, you’re inhaling smoke, isn’t that an odd concept?), I’m afraid you can’t complement your habit with this tee because by the looks of it Graniph don’t sell this particular design anymore. Still, there’s a load more excellent designs in the store for your perusal.

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A HYA Branded Sterling Silver Keyring!

by Andy on June 15, 2009


I’m pretty used to people sending me t-shirts, when you run a t-shirt blog it’s kind of expected, but it’s very unusual for someone to custom make a keyring for me out of sterling silver. Regular commenters will probably recognise the name of Pamela Daley, who sent me the tee-ring (yep, I said it) which now sits proudly alongside the other trinkets on my keying (I have 1 key and 3 trinkets, pointless!).

Pamela is a jeweler, and from the looks of things making a tee-ring didn’t really test her skills very much, still, I think it’s awesome, thanks a lot Pamela!

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Road Trip by Monsieur T. [Review]

by Andy on June 8, 2009


I get sent a lot of tees, but I don’t think I’ve ever been sent one with a specific event in mind. This was the last tee I received when I was in Philly, and I warned Monsieur T. that there was a chance that it wouldn’t arrive because I was going to be heading to the West coast to get some hardcore touristing done. Luckily the package arrived, and I found a very appropriate tee inside: Road Trip.


Of course, it could be purely coincidental, but I prefer my story. Naturally, I wore this tee during my road trip, whilst we were driving through Death Valley (aka the place where I drank my bodyweight in water). I really like the design, and I’m sure I’d love the original photo, it conveys the feeling of a road trip perfectly, freedom, going somewhere just because you can, because you want to, but not because you need to, and because you stick your arm out of the window to see if it really is that damn hot or if the AC is broken.


In terms of quality, in comparison to American Apparel, the cotton is a little thicker, and the cut a little less forgiving (it doesn’t stretch as much to hide what 4 months of sampling America culinary delights did to my stomach). Printing an all-over tee can be troublesome, and you can usually expect some problems, but Monsieur T. have performed admirably, and you’d have to look pretty hard to find any errors.

Costiness=$17 (down from $34) Buy it at Monsieur T.
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Longsleeve Logo Tee by Melon Kid

by Andy on May 7, 2009


For this review you can basically wash, rinse, and repeat what I said in my first Melon Kid review: the logo is cute but it’s still a logo shirt; the shirts are high quality and I believe custom made; and that you shouldn’t write off Melon Kid as being a ‘logo tee’ company because they make up a small selection of their inventory, in fact they actually have some great designs.

Costiness=€18.80 (down from €25 for who knows how long) Buy it at Melon Kid.

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While You Were Out by Teetsy [Review]

by Andy on May 1, 2009


Whilst I’m sure that nothing untoward happened to my toothbrush whilst I lived with these guys three years ago at university, but I must say it is quite liberating living on my own knowing that everything in this place is my responsibility (even if my sublet apartment is stuffed with Judaica and pictures of people I don’t know), and that no one, or gnome one is sticking my well-worn toothbrush up their butt because I took the last of the milk.

As an image, I find this design pretty funny, but as a tee, I don’t know if it will be finding its way into my regular rotation of tees I wear when I go out with my friends (aka, the best tees). For me, the print is a little bit small, but irritatingly, it’s shape doesn’t lend it to being printed larger. So, in summation, the print is too small, but it shouldn’t be made bigger… yep, I am a completely useless reviewer.


Quality was impressive, decent print, and printed onto an American Apparel blank. It should be noted that whilst in my pictures it looks like a grey t-shirt, in reality the tee is more of an olive green, which acts as proof that you should never use a normal flash on a point-and-shoot when you’re taking product shots (I’d retake the pictures, but I’ve already sent the tee back to England).

Costiness=$13 Buy While You Were Gone at Teetsy

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Octopus Attacks Tokyo by Graniph [Review]

by Andy on April 28, 2009


Anyone remember when I pointed out this tee back in February and it was a total tease because it was sold out? Well, the situation has improved, but not by much. They must have reprinted it, but only size small is available for purchase at the moment, and considering that Graniph‘s sizes already run quite small anyway, it’s only going to be slim people wearing this pretty-darned-awesome t-shirt for the time being.

I said it back in February and I’ll say it again, this tee rocks, and I have no idea why, which is what I usually feel when I look at tees from Graniph, so I guess the love affair continues!


This tee was sent to me here in Philly, so it is a bit fresher in the memory than most of the reviews I’ve done over the past few months (though I sent it back with my brother last month, my suitcase is overweight as is), and as usual the quality level was superb, soft cotton, and I was really impressed with the colours in the print.

Costiness=JPY 2,500 Buy Octopus Attacks Tokyo at Graniph

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Love by Akomplice Clothing [Review]

by Andy on April 27, 2009


Okay, this one has no boobies, no buttocks, and no bling (I’m only using that word for alliterative purposes, if you met me, you’d know why I don’t say ‘bling’), is there anything that you’re able to find offensive about this tee from Akomplice?


Actually, I’ll cover that angle for you.

1) My photograph’s of this tee suck, so the colours are all a bit off. I’m pretty sure that it was black with bright blue stitching, but it’s also possible that it was a very dark blue tee.

2) Some people don’t like hem tags, and this tee has one. If you don’t like it, cut it off, pretty simple, really.

3) You also may not like the idea of having the word ‘love’ just above your ass (or on it if you wear your tees long), this example isn’t quite as bad as juicy pants, but I guess some may not care for it.

Other than that, I don’t really know what could annoy you considering there’s not really much else to this tee. It does maintain the high standards that I’ve come to expect from Akomplice, a quality tee that’s cut for people that find American Apparel a bit skinny.

Costiness=$32.99 Buy Love from Akomplice

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Doin’ It by Akomplice Clothing [Reviews]

by Andy on April 16, 2009


I like Akomplice, and the guys that run it, but this kind of tee isn’t really for me, some people will like it, some people won’t, some people will find it offensive. I question whether I’ll wear this tee, it will probably remain in my closet until one of my friends has a themed-party that I can incorporate it into an outfit for, or unless I need to make myself look slightly less out of place at an R&B club, and even then it would probably just make me look more out of place.


As I often say when I’m sent a tee that doesn’t excite me (and considering the subject matter of this shirt that’s pretty poor choice of words), usually a logo tee, use this review as a guide for quality when you’re looking at the rest of their catalogue, because Akomplice do have a lot of great tees, there’s a lot to like in their latest line, for example. Akomplice do have high quality tees, nicely finished, more of a normal fit compared to the skinny-ness I’ve become accustomed to from American Apparel, and the prints are always decent too.

Costiness=$32.99 Buy it at Akomplice Clothing

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Logo Tee by Melon Kid [Reviews]

by Andy on April 13, 2009


I’m really behind with the reviews, these pictures were taken back in England and there’s still quite a lot more where that came from, so this week may end up being a little heavy on the reviews, and they might get a little bit emo since they force me to keep looking at my garden back in England.


Melon Kid are a Spanish company with an obviously very cute mascot, but don’t let that colour what you expect all their designs to look like, because there are a wide variety of people designing for MK, and some of the other tees are well worth a gander.

The quality level seemed top notch (though obviously I haven’t had an opportunity to give this tee a proper test run), I’m pretty sure that the tee itself is custom made, not from one of the more famous blank manufacturers, and it had a few nice little touches that you’ll be able to see in the gallery, like the tag on the bottom hem, and a slightly different fabric to the usual around the neck.

You can’t actually buy this tee in the lime green anymore, but it is available in the slightly less retina-burning colour of dark red for the piffling amount of €9.99.

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Gettin’ Lit by KosherHam [Reviews]

by Andy on March 19, 2009


Now, if there’s something I don’t have a clue about it’s Jewish culture. My current apartment is filled with Jewish books and judaica (my landlady is from Israel), and I even have a Jewish thing on my keychain for good luck, so you’d have thought I would have taken some of it in subliminally at the very least, but that hasn’t been the case. However, even a mensch like me know that a menorah was used back in ancient times to stop dragons putting curse on your house.*

To me, Jewish-themed stuff tends to be very traditional, at least looking around my living room it seems to be, so I guess that KosherHam’s refreshingly clean and cartoon-y style would be attractive to younger Jews. The tee is my American Apparel, and the print was pretty good, though not perfect as you’ll be able to see from the pictures in the gallery, something which I feel may have been done on purpose.

Costiness=$19.99 (available in various colours) Buy it at KosherHam

*Note: that probably isn’t true, and if it is, wowzers.

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I get the feeling, and I completely understand why, that quite are lot of you (women, for example) are going to take exception to this t-shirt. Scantily clad women on t-shirts tend to have that effect. A month and a bit ago I probably would have been burning a bra right along side you, because the streetwear culture is different in the UK, but after being in America for a while, I’m starting to get why this kind of thing could be popular, so I’m not going to give Akomplice a hard time about it.

If you can get past the subject of the print, this is actually a really high quality t-shirt, which usually tends to be the case with AK. I remember the print being nice, I love halftones, the breast pocket is somewhat unusual (it’s the first tee I’ve ever received with a breast pocket), but I think it works, and there’s a tag on the sleeve which gives it a quality finish. I quite like sleeve tags, but if you don’t, it wouldn’t be too tough to cut it off.

Also, in the breast pocket there’s a custom AK condom, something I was unaware of even when I was taking the pictures, and throwing the tees into my room before leaving for the airport… I wonder if my Mom found it when cleaning my room?

Costiness=$35.99 Buy Sex In The Pocket at Akomplice Clothing

More T&A in the gallery



It’s a good thing that this t-shirt was sent to me in a girls size, because I feel obliged to wear everything that’s sent to me, and I get the feeling that wearing a t-shirt that says “I ♥ Hannah Montana” wouldn’t help me make friends in America, and if it did, I think it would probably enamor me with people that I wouldn’t want to be friends with. Presumably though, if you’re a girl, or a guy who quite clearly screams “I’m being ironic” with everything that they wear then you would probably be able to get away with it.


As usual, KosherHam serve up a quality shirt, American Apparel for the blank, which we all know is the indie-stry standard, and I remember thinking that the print was good too, so you’ve got nothing to worry about there either.

Costiness=$19.99 Buy it at KosherHam

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Argyle Rasta by Bernos [Review]

by Andy on March 4, 2009


It’s quite odd trying to do reviews without having the actual t-shirt on hand to look at and judge. I have to try and remember what I thought of a tee a month ago. For the design, that’s fairly easy, I have pictures, but for the quality aspect it’s all memory. Luckily, I remember that this tee was pretty darned good.

I like the design, it’s a clever idea, but I feel as if I, possibly one of the whitest people in existence, shouldn’t really start talking about the merits of a Rasta design because it would surely end up just mired in cliché, man.

American Apparel provide the blank tee, so we know that’s good, and I distinctly remember thinking that the quality of the print didn’t suck, so I reckon you can buy from Bernos with confidence.

Costiness=$22.95 Buy it at Bernos

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A Monkey Holding a Camera by Graniph

by Andy on March 2, 2009


Apparently “you can’t buy it Sunday” doesn’t just happen on a Sunday, since I was looking around the Graniph site, and I can’t see this one on sale.

Obviously I took the pictures back in England, but I do remember the tee having that high-level of quality that I’ve come to expect from Graniph. Also, these pictures aren’t too impressive, I had to take pictures of 10 tees in a mad rush before leaving for the airport, so these haven’t had the usual work that I like to put into the gallery pictures, sorry.

More average photos after the jump

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